Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Teachers Day

Yesterday was Teachers Day, or so a friend who keeps track of such things told me. I'm not really into these kind of 'days' because my cynical side tends to think that such days are just a ploy by companies like Hallmarks to induce people into buying cards, flowers and chocolates.

Alright. That's way too cynical, I know; but somehow one can't help thinking along these lines especially with the kind of crass commercialisation that seems to define the greeting card industry. I mean, every relationship is fair game to these people, and I won't be surprised if they'll pull no stops in turning even a simple 'hello' into a major event.

But going back to Teachers Day, one of the reasons why I didn't know about it was because it didn't register even a squeak in my school calendar because in those days Indian School Bahrain's summer vacation used to end on 16th September. That's right. It was full two and half months of rest, recreation, and lots of household chores. Only once, that is, in 1979 that our vacation lasted three months because our school moved to Isa Town that year. I'm digressing.

Some teachers, most notably, Mr. Akshay Kumar (no likeness to the Bollywood hero) usually dropped hints about Teachers Day and how schools in India treated it as a very important event. We would simply nod our heads and say, wow, but showed no inclination of coming to school in the middle of our vacation just to celebrate Teachers Day.

Now it's not that we were an ungrateful lot (of course, that's open to debate but we won't get into that, shall we?), but it's just that we used to get annoyed by some of these teachers who would insist that life in India was a lot better for school kids, and that we were, somehow, missing out on things. It was a load of baloney as far as we were concerned mainly because we didn't like anyone telling us that we were a deprived lot.

But I have to admit that not all of our teachers came from the outer reaches of the solar system. There were others whose presence made some difference to our lives. They were the ones who gave us lessons in life without deviating from the curriculum, and contributed not only to our intellectual growth but also to our emotional development. And now as I look back to those days long gone, I can't help but think that much of what I am today is, partly, due to some of these teachers. Gosh. I didn't intend to sound so mushy all of a sudden. It has to be that pathetic music com

Mrs Swamy (my class-teacher in fourth grade) -- for discovering my interest in writing and encouraging me to keep at it.

Mrs. Sequiera -- for being strict when it was necessary, for being loving at all times, and for remembering us even after twenty-odd years.

Mrs. Shankuni -- for encouraging my interest in poetry by her kind and thoughtful words.

Mr. Susai -- for showing us that wit and dry humour can be useful tools while teaching physics.

Mr. Nair -- for his tireless and futile attempts in making me recognise the wonders of trignometry and quadratic equations.

Mrs. Karai (Head of English Department, Wilson College, Bombay) -- for insisting that I major in English literature instead of political science or psychology.

Dr. Reuben (English Department, Wilson College) -- for showing us how to discover literary 'truths' on our own and enjoying the process.

Ms. Kalavade (warden of the girls hostel, Wilson College) -- for just being there for me whenever I was (which was always) homesick.

4 comments:

Alankrita said...

I hope, just hope someday soemone of my students-to-be will write a piece like this for me.....

Jan Verhoeff said...

Hi Ashishe,

Just checking in to see what you were up to. I love this post, I remember most of my teachers too. Many of them have gone on to be with our Lord, but some are still around.

What a blessing they were on my life!

Thanks for sharing your memories!

Jan Verhoeff

Ashish Gorde said...

Jan, it's good to hear from you after soooo long. How have you been?

Oh yes, how can we forget our school teachers? Much of what we are today is due to what some of them did and did not do (as the case may be)

Nescafe said...

enlightening writing. Felt, i must write something like this.